Thursday, November 13, 2014


she sent me flowers for my birthday.

roses for remembrance, iris for faith —

and thistles, for the fray.


by Ted Hughes 

Against the rubber tongues of cows and the hoeing hands of men
Thistles spike the summer air
And crackle open under a blue-black pressure.
Every one a revengeful burst
Of resurrection, a grasped fistful
Of splintered weapons and Icelandic frost thrust up
From the underground stain of a decayed Viking.
They are like pale hair and the gutturals of dialects.
Every one manages a plume of blood.
Then they grow grey like men.
Mown down, it is a feud. Their sons appear
Stiff with weapons, fighting back over the same ground.


S. Etole said...

It makes a beautiful bouquet even with the thistles.

Loree said...

Happy birthday. Lovely flowers. Hope your day had no thistles.

Laura said...

So beautiful Leslie… May this be a year of deep blessing and improved health. I hope too that you will send me a little patch for the gratitude quilt this year, it would not be the same without you my friend.

Becky Jerdee said...

Love the thistles for the fray...what thoughtful sister, one who doesn't ignore your struggles. My birthday was Nov. 13 :) Happy Birthday, Les!

Jennifer Richardson said...

So beautiful....reminds me of
The Language of Flowers
(such a wonderful read);
thanks for sharing and hope the birthday sweetness lingers long:)

Tracy said...

Happy Birthday, belated, Leslie! LOVELY flowers... I like the ragged beauty of thistles. They are a nice reminder for look for beauty in the rough patches of life! Hope you have a beautiful birthday year. In a few days we travel to the US to enjoy Thanksgiving with my family--so happy! And as the holidays approach I'm making a departure from blogland. No worries though, I'll still be around... ;o) ((LOVE & HUGS))

ayala said...

Happy belated birthday! I hope it was perfect :)

♥ tinyWOOLF ♥ said...

both poems so full of knowing.
so it seems, i have not thought
- of your birthday...

i must write to you.